three of the top 5 spots in the best wine bar section on Sbpost

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We at ely restaurants are delighted to have taken three of the top 5 spots in the best wine bar section, with ely winebar topping the list once again, ely bar & brasserie in the IFSC second and ely gastro pub in fifth place.
We are also delighted to see so many of our suppliers and friends also getting the recognition they deserve, such as Simon TyrellFebvre and Liberty Wines among the best importers, Le Caveau wine merchantsWicklow wine company, The Corkscrew and Mitchell and son as best merchants, and Wines Direct and the The  Winestore for their fantastic websites.

Tomas Clancy writes:

Thomas Clancy 001ely maintains its top place again this year. It shines in its wine masterclasses, delicious food
and world-class selection of wines. Added to this are thoughtful, attentive and knowledgeable
owners, and staff who seem to love what they are doing.

Cheers to that!

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Two new additions to the ely family for 2013

Our New Year’s resolution ? To drink differently…..Ian Brosnan - ely winebar

Here at ely restaurants we’ve started the new year as we mean to continue, namely by sourcing new, exciting wines that represent both quality and value.
We also believe that 2013 will be the year of the ‘little grape’, wines from unconventional grapes and lesser known regions will come to the fore because they will be able to offer genuine drinking pleasure at affordable prices. With that in mind, we will be on a mission, searching the forgotten corners of the wine world for interesting varieties and styles, while also seeking out the very best value from the more recognisable regions.

Here are two for you to start with – both are available in all three ely venues.

It costs €26 by the bottle or €6.50  by the glass, and don’t forget we pour 4 glasses to the bottle !

1. Simon Joseph Cote du Rhone ‘Les Vignes Paralleles’ 2011

Simone Joseph001Equal parts Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault, this is a classic southern Rhone blend. The grapes are sourced just southwest of Avignon, in the region of the Gard – an area renowned for quality fruit and elegant wines. Bursting with fresh dark cherry on the nose, followed by plum and bramble fruit on the palate. The Grenache provides a lingering, white pepper spiciness, while the gentle tannins and fresh acidity carry the flavours through a long satisfying finish. Hugely versatile, it can be enjoyed by itself, but pairs wonderfully with lamb and game.

Loinel Osmin Pyrène ‘Cuvee marine’ 2011

2. Loinel Osmin Pyrène ‘Cuvee marine’ 2011

Another blend of three, this time Colombard, Sauvignon Blanc and Gros Manseng. The vineyards are spread between the Cote de Gascgogne and Gaillac in the south west of France. While Sauvignon Blanc enjoys widespread fame on its own, this blend is traditional in these parts of France. On the nose there is gooseberry and lime, with aromatic lemon on the palate and a strong minerally finish. This wine somehow manages to be full flavoured and fruity, yet still wonderfully crisp and fresh. Refreshingly different !

 

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The ultimate Shiraz tasting: 8th September 2011 at ely, IFSC

The ultimate SHIRAZ tasting

ely is absolutely delighted to host an exclusive evening with two passionate lovers of the Shiraz / Syrah grape.

Clonakilla Winery in Australia has been receiving the highest of accolades for more than 20 years and has been described by The Wall Street Journal as ‘Australia’s greatest red wine; it is certainly one of its greatest Shiraz’s’ and as ‘one of the leading small wineries in the country’ by Huon Hooke.

Tim Kirk of Clonakilla will be joined by Ireland’s award winning Rhone specialist Tyrrell & Company Wine Importers, who are renowned for their range and expertise in Rhone wines. Tyrrell’s has supplied ely since we first opened 11 years ago and have been staples on our list ever since.

Our hosts for the night have over 50 years experience between them and are united by the passion for Syrah and Shiraz. During the evening we will hear about tales of Shiraz from Australia, France and around the globe and taste Crozes Hermitage, Cote Rotie, and other specially selected Syrah wines alongside their Aussie counterparts. Our head chef has devised a 3 course menu to match the wines and will feature the best in Irish seasonal produce.

The ultimate Shiraz tasting is perfect if you are a lover of the Aussie Shiraz, Rhone reds or simply enjoy wine and want to learn more in a casual and informative atmosphere.

Date: 8th September

Time: 7pm

Venue: ely bar & brasserie, IFSC

Ticket price: €70 per head

For all queries or to book your place please contact Michelle Lawlor at wineclub@elywinebar.com or 01 6787867.

For more information on all our tastings please click here.

Rhone V Barossa: a wine tasting in Dublin

Last night  at ely we made some fantastic comparisons of Shiraz, Grenache and Viognier. The original idea was to compare only Shiraz, known as Syrah in France, from the 2 most iconic producing regions. However John McDonnell of Wine Australia came up with an inspired idea – let’s look at the iconic wines of Rhone, not just Shiraz, but Grenache – the master of Southern Rhone and Viognier – the lush white grape grown across the whole Rhone.

We chose contemporary Frenchies to compete against  traditional Aussies in a battle of the Rhone Rangers!

Viognier
Yalumba Y Series Vs Ogier Condrieu

Viognier is a lush white grape with a delicious oily texture , lots of alcohol and brimming with peaches, apricots and elderflower aromas. Viognier is a tricky grape to get right, it needs perfect ripening conditions, very talented viticulturalists and gentle winemaking. It is very difficult to pick a favourite between these two, largely because they fit into two completely different price brackets. The Y Series Yalumba is fresh, retaining all the delicious aromatics that can easily be lost for a Viognier at the entry price point. I, as well as most of the winetasters, were blown away by how much flavour and depth this wine had. The Condrieu on the other hand was stunning. Costing about €25 more in the shop than the Yalumba it wasn’t really a fair comparison. The Condrieu was golden in colour with savoury spices layered over the lush ripe fruit and oaky tones. Two delicious, too delicious…

 

Grenache
Domaine la Bouissiere, Gigondas Vs Henschke ‘Johann’s Garden’

Grenache – a real floosy of a grape! Grenache is a fairly easy grape to grow. It flourishes almost anywhere and produces wines that can be any thing from light,  juicy and alcoholic to dense, peppery and (yes) alcoholic. It’s just one of those grapes!! The key thing is to make a wine of elegance and restraint. Generally it is blended with Syrah, Mourvedre, Carignan and Cinsault. This comparison was probably the most interesting of the evening. Henschke’s Johann’s Garden Grenache was from the 2004 vintage whilst the Gigondas was a much younger wine from the 2008 vintage. It was a tough one to call and again the Aussie’s totally blew my expectations: Henschke’s wine had all the characteristics of the a French wine with delicate fruit flavours, earthy spice and lots of herb characters whilst the Gigondas was much more robust and pronounced with lots intense flavours of cherries and liquorice. If we were to taste these blind we would be hard pressed to tell which part of the world they were from!

 

Syrah/Shiraz
Yann Chave Crozes Hermitage Vs John Duval ‘Entity’

Crozes Hermitage, like all appellations in Northern Rhone, is Syrah. Cote Rotie is the one exception having a good dash of Viognier in it to add perfume, but the likes of Hermitage, St Joseph and Cornas are pure Syrah. The Syrah produced in Northern Rhone is unlike those produced anywhere else in the world. They are dense and yet perfectly fragrant with herbs, spice and damsony fruit. Northern Rhone wines are for grown ups and Yann Chave’s Crozes Hermitage is just that. From the exceptional 2009 vintage it has a velvety mouthfeel, ripe tannins and fresh acidity. We served up assorted meat platters during the tasting which really complimented the fruit and structure of the Crozes. We teamed this up with John Duval’s ‘Entity’ Shiraz. John Duval was chief winemaker at Penfold’s for a number of years and 6 years ago he went out on his own. The results are stunning and the wine is so good that you just want to sit down and really savour the coffee and caramel spices layered with cherries, raspberries and plums.

Rhone Vs Barossa
It’s very hard to pick one region over the other but there was one standout wine for everyone – John Duval’s ‘Entity’ stole the show! It was ‘practically perfect in every way’!

 

ely is currently showcasing the best in Aussie wines with our ‘seasonal heroes’ promo. Why not enjoy a glass Innocent Bystander Pinot Gris or Pewsey Vale Riesling on the terrace of ely bar & brasserie in the IFSC. Yummy!

For more information on tastings and events please click here.

Trail blazing wines from Rhone showcased at ely

Stéphane Ogier Domaine Ogier, Northern Rhône

Our first Regional Hero is the young Stéphane Ogier of Domaine Ogier in the Northern Rhône. Aged 33, Stéphane is already a hero for the Rhône Valley. He showed great promise from an early age, receiving 100 points from Robert Parker for his Côte-Rôtie ‘Belle Helene’ 1999 when he was only 22 but it is in recent years that his talent has begun to mature into a confident, consistent brilliance.

Having studied in Beaune it is clear where his main influence lies. His great Côte-Rôtie ‘Lancement’ is (half) jokingly referred to as his “Musigny”. Stéphane feels much greater affinity with Pinot Noir and Burgundy than he does with the Grenache based wines of the Southern Rhône. His believes Syrah in the Northern Rhône is at it’s best when expressing cool, elegant fruit flavours of cassis, black cherries and violets with fresh acidity, fine tannins and lower alcohol levels. Much of his success however is not due to his brilliance in Côte-Rôtie but to his exploration and development of the undervalued areas of Vin de Pays in the Northern Rhône. And it is because of his La Rosine and L’Ame Soeur that we at ely think Stéphane is very definitely a Regional Hero.

Here he has looked beyond the obvious with new vineyard locations, breaks the rules with top quality syrah from the “wrong side of the tracks” and honours the brilliance of syrah by maintaining sheer quality. Here we have selected a shortlist ……

1. Viognier ‘La Rosine’, Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes 2008 €36 per bottle and €9 per glass

Barrel fermented Viognier from the La Rosine vineyard situated between Côte-Rôtie and Condrieu. This is beautiful. Medium-bodied with dramatic aromas of pineapple, apricot and citrus fruit a wonderfully refreshing acidity and is great on its own.

2. Condrieu 2007 €49 per bottle and €12.25 per glass

Stéphane has had many years experience growing Viognier but this is his first vintage of Condrieu, the world’s only Viognier specific appellation. Also barrel fermented but exhibiting aromas of honey, stewed apricots and red apples. There is a tremendous underlying minerality from the granite soils.

3. Syrah ‘La Rosine’, Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes 2008 €39 per bottle  and €9.75 per glass

This wine is Stéphane’s ‘Cheval de Bataille’ (war horse) –this is the epitome of what he is trying to achieve – 100% Syrah it is tremendously elegant, displaying flavours of cassis, raspberries and black pepper. It has a silkiness and texture than is reminiscent of a Burgundy Pinot Noir.

4. Syrah ‘L’Ame Soeur’, Seyssuel, Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes 2007 €49 per bottle and €12.25 glass

L’Ame Soeur (kindred spirit) is the fruit of Stéphane’s most exciting, recent project. Romans first developed the vineyards of Seyssuel two thousand years ago. The mica-schist soil here is the same as that of the northern sector of Côte-Rôtie. This barrel aged wine has many of the characteristics of a Côte-Rôtie – dark, pure, silky fruit flavours with an intense mineral core.

5. Côte-Rôtie 2006 €79 per bottle and €19.75 per glass

Stéphane’s Côte-Rôtie comes from a blend of Syrah grapes grown on different parcels of vineyard on both the Côte Blonde (granite soil) and the Côte Brune (mica-schist). It is a hugely complex wine with aromas of black olives, black cherries, black currants and spice overlaid with a certain smokiness. It is wonderfully fine and possibly the most elegant of all Côte-Rôtie’s being produced today.

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